Augusta Holmès (1847-1903)

Augusta Holmès

(orig. Holmes Mary Anne) born in Paris, 16 Dec. 1847; died in Paris, 28 Jan. 1903, Irish naturalized French pianist and composer. Although her parents were against her taking up music, she played the pianoforte and sang as a child prodigy. She began to compose under the name of Hermann Zenta. Later she studied with Cesar Franck. Works incl. operas Héro et Leandre, La Montagne noire (1895) Astarté, Lancelot du Lac; choral works Les Argonauts (on Homer's Iliad, 1881), psalm In exitu, ode Ludus pro patria and Ode triomphale; Symphonies on Ariosto's Orlando furioso, Lutèce and Pologne, symphonic poem Irlande (1882); song-cycle Les Sept Ivresses.

Holmes has written to pieces for two pianos eight hands: 'Les Cloches de Corneville, fantasia', and 'The sentinel's night march'.

This information comes from "the new everyman's Dictionary of Music", by Eric Blom, sixth edition revised by David Cummings. ED: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London and Melbourne, 1988.